Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rye and Seed Crackers

I've spent so much time baking bread from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice as part of the the BBA Challenge that I've had little time to explore the bread in his new book, Artisan Breads Every Day, although I've had a copy since it it first came out last Fall. (I also have his Whole Grain Breads book which is fabulous.) When my friend Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook asked me if I wanted to bake the Crispy Rye and Seed Crackers from the new book I jumped at the chance to join her. As circumstances would have it, we couldn't find a convenient time to bake at the same time, and I think Di might not have ended up making the crackers.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I won my copy of Reinhart's new book in a giveaway sponsored by Jude of the blog Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate. Thanks, Jude! Although his blog has been on hiatus for several months, check the archives for some beautiful bread and other foods.

- You can find the recipe for these crackers here. There is no leaven at all in this recipe, but I'm including it on my bread blog because it came out of Reinhart's bread book. Makes sense to me.

- The cracker dough has several kinds of seeds, which are combined with rye flour. I ground the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in my spice blender. Instead of grinding flax seeds, I used flax meal that I had in the fridge (it keeps much longer there).

- I mixed my dough in the food processor (surprise!). It was a bit sticky, so I added more rye flour, about a tablespoon or 2.

- Instead of a floured counter, I kneaded the dough on an oiled counter.

- Using a straight edge for a guide I cut half of my crackers into diamond shapes, as Reinhart does in the book - and as NPR did in the recipe link above. (I gave away all of the diamond-shaped ones and later realized that I forgot to take any photos of them.) The other half I cut with a dinosaur-shaped cookie cutter. Why dinosaurs? Why not??

- I topped my crackers with salt for garnish. I was a little too exuberant with the salt, but luckily it was quite easy to brush off the excess after the crackers were baked.

- The crackers that turned out the best were the ones that I rolled very thin and then baked until they were browned and crisp.

the verdict:

These made a surprisingly big splash at my book group meeting. They tasted a lot like Wheat Thins, but in a rye-ish kind of way. All in all, a nice savory cracker and a very cool way to incorporate whole grains.


Di said...

Okay, I just *love* the top picture. =) I did make the crackers, sort of. I mixed up the dough and chilled it. I managed to bake one quarter of it, but didn't bake the crackers long enough because I was in a hurry. They weren't crisp enough. I forgot to freeze the rest of the dough and ended up tossing it after it sat in my fridge for about a week and a half. I will definitely try again, though.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

So cute! I love him, and the picture.

Anonymous said...

Hello,nice post thanks for sharing?. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon.

Jessica said...

Did you draw the landscape at the top? That picture is SO cute with the dinosaur cracker right at home. I never pondered a dino cookie cutter before, but your crackers are so cute that now I sort of want one. The crackers look tasty, and I'm glad you enjoyed them!

pinkstripes said...

I love the little dinosaur! Cute.

Audrey said...

Yes, tell us! Did you?
I've never thought of making crackers...but they look wonderful (not to mention too cute for words). You know, I completely forgot about this new book! I'm sure I meant to buy it as soon as it came out. Great post, as always!

TeaLady said...

How cute is that dino. And in his own environment. Love the pic.

Kayte said...

Oh, I love the idea of these crackers, and I especially love the idea of getting to cut them into different shapes! Yummy dino!